Asia-Pacific stocks mixed as U.S. inflation data remains in spotlight

Bank of Japan to review side effects of monetary easing, local newspapers report

The Bank of Japan will consider the side effects of monetary easing at its policy meeting next week, local newspaper Yomiuri reported.

“This is because the market interest rate remains distorted even after the policy review late last year,” Yomiuri wrote.

Last month, the central bank widened its yield curve tolerance for 10-year JGBs to 0.5% either side of its 0% target, up from the previous range of 0, 25%.

The Japanese yen strengthened 0.63% to settle at 131.65 against the greenback.

—Lee Ying Shan

Chinese consumer price index up 1.8% in December

Inflation in China accelerated to 1.8% in December from a year ago as food prices rose, according to data from the National Bureau of Statistics.

“Prices of fresh vegetables and fresh fruits increased by 7.0% and 4.7% respectively,” the report said.

The CPI figure was in line with Reuters expectations and above the previous month’s reading of 1.6%.

The reading was also steady with November, improving after a 0.2% decline.

China’s producer price index fell 0.7% in December from a year ago, worse than expectations of a 0.1% drop.

— Lee Ying Shan

CNBC Pro: This Global Exchange Is Undervalued and Offers a “Very Good” Entry Point for Investors, Says Outperforming Fund Strategist

Shares on a global exchange are trading at a “very good” entry point for investors after a recent decline in the company’s shares, a fund strategist has said.

Hannah Gooch-Peters, global equity investment analyst at Sanlam Investments, said the stock market has performed well over the past year due to volatility in fixed income markets and high commodity spot prices. raw.

Gooch-Peters, who is part of the team behind the highly successful Sanlam Global High-Quality fund, said the company was an attractive long-term investment due to its large recurring business model.

CNBC Pro subscribers can learn more here.

—Ganesh Rao

Australia’s trade surplus for November beats expectations

Australia reported a trade surplus of 13.2 billion Australian dollars (about $9.1 million) for November, beating Reuters’ forecast of 10.4 billion Australian dollars.

The November figure also marks an increase from October’s trade surplus of A$12.74 billion.

Australian imports fell 1.5% in November from October, while exports fell 0.4%.

—Lee Ying Shan

CNBC Pro: Morgan Stanley names its ‘top pick’ in Chinese tech – and gives it more than 70% upside

China’s tech sector has come under pressure in recent years, thanks to a regulatory crackdown and fallout from the country’s zero-Covid policy.

But Wall Street is once again giving Chinese tech stocks some love, and Morgan Stanley named it its “top pick” in the sector.

Pro subscribers can learn more here.

— Zavier Ong

Cryptocurrencies Trade Higher as Binance Reports Hiring Spree

Cryptocurrencies gained after crypto exchange Binance announced that it plans to increase its staff by 15% to 30% in 2023.

Bitcoin was 2.78% higher at $17,932.69, according to data from Coin Metrics. Ether last traded up 3.86% to settle at $1,388.98.

Binance’s move contrasts with rivals like Coinbase, Kraken, and Huobi, which have laid off huge swaths of staff amid a crypto downturn.

—Lee Ying Shan

Stocks close higher as investors brace for Thursday’s inflation reading

Shares ended higher on Wednesday as investors positioned themselves optimistic ahead of Thursday’s CPI report.

The Nasdaq Compound gained 1.8%, marking a four-day streak. A rally of such duration has not been seen in the tech-heavy index since September.

The Dow finished over 260 points, or 0.8%.

The S&P500 added 1.3%. All 11 sectors in the broad index ended the day higher, led by real estate with a gain of 3.6%.

—Alex Harring

Natural gas hits low not seen since 2021

Natural gas hit a low in Wednesday trading not seen since 2021.

The commodity slid 1.1% to $3.598.

It at one point fell to $3.442. This is a low not seen since June 24, 2021, when natural gas fell to $3.415.

Natural gas has fallen 18.9% since the start of 2023.

—Gina Francolla, Alex Harring

Fed gauge shows inflation could be higher than the street predicted

Thursday’s consumer price index report could show inflation rising at a faster pace than Wall Street expects, according to a Cleveland Fed gauge.

The central bank’s Inflation Nowcasting tracker shows headline CPI rising at a monthly pace of 0.1%, while the core, excluding volatile food and energy prices, points to a 0.5 gain %.

Both figures are ahead of Dow Jones consensus estimates for a 0.1% decline on the stock and a 0.3% gain on the core.

On a yearly basis, the Cleveland Fed model points to an overall gain of 6.6% and 5.9% for the core, compared to the Dow Jones estimates of 6.5% and 5.7% respectively.

—Jeff Cox

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